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  United Kingdom General Elections: December 12th, 2019 (search mode)
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Author Topic: United Kingdom General Elections: December 12th, 2019  (Read 47970 times)
cp
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« on: October 29, 2019, 09:30:42 am »


[snip]

On a serious note, granted, if the current polls are correct (and note there is some variation between the polling companies, with the Tory lead bouncing around between 3-15 points) a Labour minority is unlikely. However, my somewhat facetious post above was a synecdoche for that fact that polls can easily change in the campaign, as of course they did in 2017, when the Tories blew a 20 point lead over Labour (which was considered even less of a threat back then than it is now). Whilst I’m sure Johnson, Swinson, the Media punditry class and galaxy brain psephologists would love for the election to polarize around the issue of leaving the EU, there are other issues out there, and most of those are not favourable  to the Tories.

This is my read, too. There's no doubt Labour is starting further behind and with more baggage than they had in 2017, but the same is true of the Tories and then some. Add to that the spoiler factor of the Brexit Party, the (high, I think) likelihood of tactical voting by non-Tory/Brexit parties, and the relative campaigning abilities of the respective party leaders and I think there is far more likelihood of a pro-Labour upset than a pro-Tory status quo.

I don't expect there to be much movement in the polls for a while, though. If an anti-Tory result is what comes about, it will only start to materialize in the final few weeks of the campaign. The first month or so will be a kind of unofficial 'primary' campaign for which party gets to be the primary opposition to the Tories; this is rather like how the NDP/Liberals fought it out in August/September of the 2015 GE.
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cp
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2019, 01:49:39 am »

Is there any discussion about electoral pacts, stand down agreements etc?

The Lib Dems are allegedly in talks with Plaid Cymru, the SNP, and Greens about selected stand downs in a handful of seats. The Tories have categorically ruled out any cooperation with the Brexit Party. I don't think the Brexit Party has responded in kind, but the inexorable logic of the situation is that they will attempt to stand a full slate of candidates.
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cp
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 04:57:01 am »
« Edited: October 31, 2019, 07:59:28 am by cp »

I really hope Farage gets a seat this time. He’ll be tempted to run in a Labour Leave constituency but that’s not the right move. I think he’s got conviction, believes in his cause and unlike his friend Trump - isn’t a fraud

Well this didn’t age well.

If the reports are true that he’s even considering only running a handful of candidates in Labour Leave areas and that he himself may not even stand - That’s just pathetic. After all that to just fade away and give up on his cause? Embarrassing

If true, it's also tactically inept. Labour Leave seats are precisely the places where the Tories *don't* want the BXP to run. With BXP on the ballot (in, say, Hartlepool) they'll just repeat the results of 2015 (where Lab won that seat with a 35/30/20 split). For all the hype about Labour being wracked by division over Brexit, virtually every poll, interview, and study of Labour Leave areas has shown Labour Leavers are far more Labour - and hostile to the Tories - than they are Leavers, and the committed Leavers in Labour Leave seats are not typically Labour voters.

If it wasn't apparent already, it's worth adding there aren't really that many seats where the BXP will do more damage to the Tories than Labour in the first place. If the BXP really wanted to help the Tories they would simply fold, but I think Farage has a bit too much ego to contemplate that.
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cp
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 02:00:43 pm »

We have had the first national polls since the election was called.

Survation: Con 34, Lab 26, LDem 19, BP 12, Greens 1, Others 4
YouGov: Con 36, Lab 21, LDem 18, BP 13, Greens 6, SNP 4, Others 1

The former would be a swing of 3.0 and the latter a swing of 6.5. Under our stupid electoral system, these would produce very different results.

Also published is the first Ipsos-MORI poll for a while, though it was conducted over the weekend, and so before the election was called. Included for completeness:

Ipsos-MORI: Con 41, Lab 24, LDem 20, BP 7, Greens 3, SNP 3, Others 2

Are there any methodological differences that can explain why the Green score varies so much?

Because the Green Party is newer, less well established, and highly responsive to the media environment of the moment (i.e. if there are climate change issues in the news on any given week), their numbers tend to fluctuate. A similar phenomenon occurs in Canada: the Greens will poll at nearly double the rate they end up getting on election day, except for periods when non-environmentalist issues dominate the news.
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cp
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2019, 02:03:04 pm »

How likely is it for the Greens to have 2 seats or more following this election?

Highly unlikely.
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cp
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 11:42:09 am »

Here's some potential high profile incumbent shock defeats (note: not a prediction)

Conservative

Boris himself - Uxbridge isn't out of the realm of possibility and it isn't too dissimilar to middle-class seats that have swung away from Tories elsewhere.

Zac Goldsmith - tbh unless it's a dismal night for the Lib Dems, he's probably going down

Iain Duncan Smith - another London seat, and one Labour basically has to win to call it a remotely good night (and they could even win it on a pretty lousy score as well.

Jacob Rees Mogg - bit more remote, and could probably suffer from divided opposition given the old Labourist tradition around the Somerset coalfields and the Lib Dem renewed strength in the West Country. Still, Lib Dems won Bath and NE Somerset last locals, even excluding Bath constituency.

Steve Baker - another Hard Brexiter sitting in the not hugely Brexit friendly commuter town of Wycombe

Labour

Not sure how many likely Lab>Lib pick-ups there will be (it says something about how badly that faction of swing voters took the clegg years that there is only dead certain Lib Dem pick-up, and that's the seat of the soon to be missed Mr O'Mara). Maybe if Labour do catasrophically with Remain voters you could see them come back from the dead in places like Emily Thornberry's Islington and Finsbury seat.

Much more potential Labour weaknesses to Tories though, obviously: Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Sarah Champion, Dennis Skinner, Caroline Flint and so on. In the event of Boris getting the much vaunted 100 seat super majority expect all sorts of people up in the hinterlands of Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham etc to fall.

Lib Dems

aside from the likes of Ummuna and Gyimah, who don't count, the only vulnerable Lib Dem MP is probably their own leader, given Scotland's unpredictability.

SNP

Likewise, the SNP are doing so well at the moment the only potential for a fall is probably their own Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, who the Lib Dems are definitely gunning for after his pretty gross campaign against Charles Kennedy (there's also the Western Islands, but Christ knows what goes on politically there). As the SNP drifts into becoming an urban party, I expect the Liberal tradition to reassert itself in the region.

I'd also add Dominic Raab to your list of potential big name Tory losers. His constituency, Esher & Walton, voted heavily for remain, the Lib Dems did really well in the local elections in May, and their candidate has managed to convince the central party to make E&W a target seat. It's more of a long shot than Uxbridge or IDS's seat, but if the Tories are having a bad night then it could be the evening's Portillo moment (assuming Johnson doesn't lose as well).
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cp
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 02:27:43 pm »

It would be amusing if Raab lost, but I would caution that he polled 59% two years ago. And for obvious reasons if one was still voting Conservative in 2017, one was not #fbpe. Of course as recently as 2005 the LibDems managed to poll a shade under 30% there (still not enough to come close: 16pts behind) which is, sure, an indicator of potential of a sort, but...

E&W has an odd profile in some ways. The Tories win by a clear margin, but not by the landslide margins you get in more rural seats (or northern Labour ones). The Lab/Lib totals are pretty even around 20% apiece, with some variation factored in due to national swings. This is because the constituency includes loads of leafy Surrey surburbs (McMansions, really) alongside small but dense pockets of social housing and new builds in places like Walton. Give it another 10 years and it'll be like the Essex London suburbs that used to be super conservative but are now full of 'young professionals' that can't stand the Tories.

A non-Tory win in E&W isn't exactly a long shot, but it requires two things to happen independently: Raab needs to get super cocky and not put any effort into campaigning, AND one of the parties (*ahem* Labour) needs to tactically throw its voters toward the other party.
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cp
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2019, 04:04:22 am »

Workington which is in NE England Survation poll

CON  45(+3)
LAB   34(-17)
BXP   13 (new)
LDEM   3(-2)
Green.  2(new)

LDEM fall is a surprise
CON has never won this seat before
I think people are underestimating the number of Labours to the Brexit Party. I heard many Labour Leave voters are seeing a vote for the Tories are step too far, but voting for the Brexit Party is easier for them. Many people are assuming too fast that the Brexit Party is a threat to only the Conservatives, while I think its also a big threat as for Labour as well in these Leave Labour seats

If people are underestimating Lab>Bxp voters, there's good reason for it. Study after study looking into these voters has shown they are far more motivated by non-Brexit issues (NHS, education, income inequality, etc.) than Brexit itself. It's not that Brexit isn't a factor, it's just that if asked to choose between a single issue party and their longstanding political leanings, they opt for their longstanding political leanings.
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cp
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2019, 04:52:23 am »

One of the things that concerns me most is that this is Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, not Theresa May's. In 2017, a lot of heavy Remain seats (particularly in London) swung hard to Labour. However, looking at the maps, Labour still holds a lot of Leave seats. Over 400 constituencies voted Leave in 2016. With the Tories running as a far more Brexit-centric than under May, that's sure to lead to some significant divergence from past elections.

With the Lib Dems running as the unabashed Remain party, is there any chance they could make inroads into heavy remain Labour areas like London?

Inroads, maybe, but not a breakthrough. Keep in mind, London Labour's support is deep, their electoral machine is superb, and they've got candidates who are pretty well aligned to their constituents' priorities (Katy Hoey aside). It's also worth remembering Sadiq Khan is running for reelection in 6 months, so there's a well trained and primed activist base across the city prepared to turn its attention to a GE.

On the broader point of how Johnson will fare vis a vis 2017: Thanks to Brexit, precisely no one believes Johnson, and the party beneath him, is appreciably more liberal than May. The Tories will struggle to hold scores of seats in the SE and SW, not so much due to vote switching but because a sizeable portion of their core vote will just stay home in protest. On the other side, with the Brexit Party lining up to run virtually everywhere, the Tories will struggle to pick up the votes they need to win Leave heavy Labour seats in the midlands and north. If the Brexit Party rises high enough (anything above 15% or so) the Tories will also struggle to hold marginal seats everywhere.
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cp
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2019, 06:53:45 am »

One of the things that concerns me most is that this is Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, not Theresa May's. In 2017, a lot of heavy Remain seats (particularly in London) swung hard to Labour. However, looking at the maps, Labour still holds a lot of Leave seats. Over 400 constituencies voted Leave in 2016. With the Tories running as a far more Brexit-centric than under May, that's sure to lead to some significant divergence from past elections.

With the Lib Dems running as the unabashed Remain party, is there any chance they could make inroads into heavy remain Labour areas like London?

Inroads, maybe, but not a breakthrough. Keep in mind, London Labour's support is deep, their electoral machine is superb, and they've got candidates who are pretty well aligned to their constituents' priorities (Katy Hoey aside). It's also worth remembering Sadiq Khan is running for reelection in 6 months, so there's a well trained and primed activist base across the city prepared to turn its attention to a GE.

On that note, is the London mayor race anything other than safe Labour? I definitely can't see the Tories winning it, and the even the Lib Dems seems like a stretch.

Haven't seen any polling in a while but my take is that Khan will be reelected comfortably. The only news of note lately is Rory Stewart - a centrist Tory from Cumbria and the Beto O'Rourke of the last leadership election - inexplicably threw his hat into the ring as an independent.
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2019, 10:57:17 am »
« Edited: November 03, 2019, 11:01:09 am by cp »

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/lib-dems-greens-and-plaid-cymru-in-remain-pact-to-repeat-brecon-win-clrnch62m

"Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru in ‘remain pact’ to repeat Brecon win"

Looks like a LDEM-PC-Green alliance in Wales.  While I am sure this will hurt CON in a few seats as well LAB in a few as well I suspect this might trigger BXP->CON tactical voting in response.

Perhaps, but any such move will face the considerable headwind of both Tory and Brexit Party leaders and candidates explicitly disavowing such behaviour.

Beyond that, the unspoken premise of such a move-countermove dynamic is that Brexit is going to be the primary motivator of peoples' votes. You can make a case for why it might be, but I think the opposite case is much easier to make - and more convincing.
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cp
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2019, 02:43:44 am »
« Edited: November 04, 2019, 11:53:36 am by cp »

Can we please not derail this thread with such banal and inaccurate comments?

If you want to stop Brexit you need a second referendum. If you want a second referendum you need to work out how to get Lab+LD+Green+PC+SNP to get to 325. Look at your seat & work out who that candidate is... it's not that hard

The comment about voting Labour for a 'hard brexit' ignores the fact that there's a chunk of 50-100 members of the PLP who've spend the last two years organizing, pushing and fighting for Labour to take a much more pro-remains stance... and it's worked. And ignores the fact it was the Benn Bill that blocked no-deal & Labour votes which got the various wrecking amendments to Brexit through the HOC.

Why throw those MPs out just to get a Tory MP (the reality if you don't vote Labour in a Lib-Dem Tory marginal)

Indeed. I'd go further and argue Labour's position on Brexit at the moment (yes, it took them *way* too long to get there) is the most sensible and responsible one on offer. If there's one thing both sides agree on it's that they don't want to keep talking about Brexit anymore. Both the Tories and the Lib Dems are offering, in essence, an all-or-nothing resolution: either a Tory Brexit (in name only?) happens, or no Brexit ever happens. This is certainly appealing to the diehards, but neither option will provide any kind of actual conclusion to the Brexit debate.

If there's a Tory Brexit, everyone who's not a Tory - including a good chunk of diehard leavers - will decry the result. What's more, for the next decade any bad economic news or diplomatic failure will get ascribed to Brexit, rightly or not. It's a recipe for endless agony. On the other hand, a straight revocation of Article 50, with neither a referendum nor any other kind of mechanism to obtain loser's consent from leavers, is a recipe for endless resentment and acrimony. All the Brexiteers' nonsense rhetoric about 'betrayal' really will have a grain of truth about it.

Labour offers a compromise: A Brexit deal that is *much* closer to what was promised by the Leave campaign in 2016 (and doesn't screw NI) OR remaining, but only after securing a mandate for that in a referendum. It's not where I would like to be - Brexit is a terrible idea and always was - but as a way to draw a line under an acrimonious and agonizing debate foisted on the country by the Tories, a new deal+referendum is a pretty statesmanlike way to go about it.
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cp
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 12:42:26 pm »
« Edited: November 04, 2019, 12:47:35 pm by cp »



All told, this is fairly good news for everyone. The Tories are still in the lead and gained more than Labour. Labour's also gained and is within spitting distance of the lead in a way they aren't in other polls. The Lib Dems and Brexit Party only dropped by small amounts, so easily dismissed as statistical noise.

Elsewhere, the Brexit Party PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate, for those not in the UK) dropped out and switched to the Tories. This is good news for the Tories, as the seat in question, Dudley South, is just the kind of place where a strong Brexit Party presence could cost the Tories a seat they cannot afford to lose.
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cp
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2019, 01:49:41 pm »


At least it's better for them than what's trending on Twitter

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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2019, 03:12:51 pm »

Looks like Tom Watson is not running...

CON gains West Bromwich East ?

Highly unlikely. Tories didn't even win when the SD split the vote near perfectly in 1983.
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cp
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2019, 03:27:51 am »



Consistent with my big post here on how the best place for Swinson's Lib-Dems in not just London but perhaps the entire country this cycle could be the wealthiest and whitest slice of london, a slice that extends outwards into Raab's seat.

Yay a poll from my constituency! Totally agree that E&W falls into 'slice' territory. So far I've received only Lib Dem literature. Truth be told, the Lib Dems will have to get lucky if they want to take the seat: a Tory implosion AND mass tactical voting by Lab. Not impossible, but will need a lot of work to make happen.
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cp
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2019, 09:20:25 am »



Consistent with my big post here on how the best place for Swinson's Lib-Dems in not just London but perhaps the entire country this cycle could be the wealthiest and whitest slice of london, a slice that extends outwards into Raab's seat.

Yay a poll from my constituency! Totally agree that E&W falls into 'slice' territory. So far I've received only Lib Dem literature. Truth be told, the Lib Dems will have to get lucky if they want to take the seat: a Tory implosion AND mass tactical voting by Lab. Not impossible, but will need a lot of work to make happen.

are you gonna vote Lib Dem?

Possibly. I'll see how the polls are looking closer to the day. If the Lib Dems are clearly in third and there's no local evidence that the Tories are flailing, I'll vote Labour. If there's a chance of knocking off Raab, tho, of course I'll take it.
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2019, 11:46:23 am »

The journalist Lewis Goodall just did a good twitter thread on this.

tl;dr without Labour involved, Remain Alliance strategic voting is a lot trickier.

It seems to me a clever tactic for the LD's might be to stand down 'for the Greens' in English seats where the Labour candidate is obviously better positioned to win. With the Green's lack of ground game, money, or incumbency, there's a decent chance many of the erstwhile Lib Dem voters would end up voting Labour anyway.
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2019, 12:16:31 pm »

We do, however, now have an actual new poll. From Panelbase. And it reads thus: Con 40, Lab 30, LDem 15, BP 8, Greens 3

This, for the record, would equate to a 4pt swing from 2017.

Basically static with what they found the previous week, too. Overall not great news for anyone but the Tories. Lab in the 30s is too low to prevent a good number of losses. LD at 15 won't make much progress on what they have now. BP taking only 8% is about half of what they ought to expect.

I do wonder if the Brexit Party is deliberately holding its fire until Farage's self-imposed deadline for a pact with Johnson (next Friday) expires, though. If so, and Farage spends the subsequent 4 weeks training both barrels on Johnson, there's the potential to shift the numbers quite significantly.


Its not their "latest" poll, as mentioned above most of the data is literally weeks old.

(and why are you using Staines as a source anyway?)

Ah .. thanks for pointing that out.  My mistake

No need to apologize. Journos who should know better and every Russian pornbot twitter account is spreading the poll like mad. Rather unfortunate testament to people's media savvy these days.
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2019, 01:54:55 pm »


[snip]

This can best be done by a mixture of denying Swinson publicity and kicking the crap out of her and her party every time her tin-whistle of a voice box does manage to break through.

Rude.

It is pretty clear that unless they change something major and fairly soon* that we will start to see, and maybe this will even occur soon as in a decade, a major structural fall in Conservative support; something akin to the declines suffered by the Cold War People's Parties in German-speaking countries. Or, for that matter, similar to the decline in turnouts seen here as the Wartime Generation started to depart in the 1990s.

It is true that people become more conservative as they grow older, but this does not mean that they will automatically become more likely to vote for the Conservative Party. This was not the case with earlier generations, particularly. It has been with older people recently for very specific material factors which cannot and will not be replicated: teachers will not be retiring to golden handshakes and final salary pensions, for instance. That's before we consider the property issues.

Of course this will play no role in the present election.

*Which can hardly be ruled out: this is British politics.

Maaaaybe. The material reasons you allude to - fraying social services, inability to get out of (student) debt or to save or get on the property ladder - are already weighing pretty heavily on most every voter under 40. For those who have an elderly parent to care for, the Tories' NHS policy for the past 10 years has been a double whammy. I can see the Tories coming up conspicuously, and fatally, short on election day not because of any one major factor but because of a widespread anemia in their <40 vote. Sort of like the generational equivalent of the Dems 2016 white/rural vote in the Midwest.   
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2019, 03:33:39 pm »

2017 wasn't a win, but it wasn't a bad election for Labour (as far as not winning it goes): they gained seats and votes, they severely hampered their principal opponents, defied expectations all around.

A 2019 loss would be something much more unambiguous. Corbyn would likely not be able to last until the subsequent election. The flip side of this, of course, is that anything but a total loss (i.e. Tory majority) likely makes him PM.
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2019, 04:15:21 pm »

Fair point. There's a narrow window where the Tories are not a majority, but also so much larger than Labour that Labour can't form a majority (my guess is 310-320 seats). In that case, yes another election is likely. If Lab+SNP+LD is >330 then I think it'll be a *very shaky* minority government for 9 months or so in order to hold a referendum.
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« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2019, 02:37:15 am »

That's a good question! It's certainly plausible, both for the Tory and Labour vote. There's a lot of huge majorities for Labour up north and in central London. The Tories get huge majorities in the rural and suburban south and east, too. Either of these areas could see huge drops in votes for the dominant party but very few seats change hands, and which seats did flip would depend on the differential as much as the drop, i.e. did the Tories' vote drop more than Labour's did, or vice versa.

If there was a big drop for one of the parties in their heartland, however, it would probably correlate to a drop in scores of marginal seats, too. The result would likely be a landslide for the Tories or an unexpected majority for Labour.
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« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2019, 03:13:29 pm »

I'd hold off on that last prediction for another couple of weeks. If we are to believe Farage is genuinely trying to broker a Tory/BP pact, he has deliberately held his fire for the time being. Once the registration deadline, and the possibility of a formal pact, passes next Friday the Brexit Party may start to register much more.
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2019, 07:39:34 am »

Farage Says He Won't Contest 317 CON seats.  Not sure if this is good news for CON as a lot of BXP votes might flow to LAB.

Agreed, but not for the reason you state. The sorts of votes the BXP draws in seats already held by Labour are votes that wouldn't have voted for Labour in the first place. Meanwhile, the sorts of votes the BXP draws in seats already held by Tories are votes that are not crucial to the swing that the Lib Dems/SNP/PC or even Lab would need to take them.

If nothing else this definitively shows what a mendacious empty vessel Farage is and always has been.
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